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  • Helen Colebrook

The Joy of Junk Journals


Junk Journal - Pockets

Keeping a junk journal is one of my favourite ways to document my thoughts and feelings. It's also the place where I experiment with new techniques and stick in all sorts of different ephemera peices.


What is a Junk Journal?


A junk journal is typically a book made up of all different types of papers and material, that might otherwise have ended up in the bin - hence being called a "junk" journal.


My junk journal is from London Gifties and is made up of vintage book pages and maps. I have tubs full of scrap paper and I will definitely be making one for myself very soon. It's such a great way to use up old papers, scrapbooking pages, envelopes and even wrapping paper.


How I use Mine


Junk Journal - Post Cards

I love to add things into my journal that I have been sent in the post. I use washi tape to secure in postcards that I receive, so that I can still see both sides of the card. Over time, the journal becomes not only a record of my days, but also things I have received and collected during days out. It adds such an interesting feel to the overall look of my journal.


In the photo at the top of this blog post, I also practised some sewing and added a pocket that I made out of a brown paper bag. On the opposite page I added some gesso over the book pages, to create some spots for my journaling.


Stickers, Stamps and Washi Tape


Junk Journal - Stamps & Washi

I really enjoy adding extra decoration to my junk journal pages, often through using stamps, stickers and washi tape. When I receive new washi tape, I like to add a few strips to my journal pages. It's also a great page to use up the last few stickers you have remaining on a sheet.


I don't worry about sticking to any particular theme in this journal. I purely decorate my pages with anything I happen to have lying around at the time.


Additional Ephemera


Junk Journal - Business Card

My junk journal is full of business cards, leaflets and little reminders. Sometimes I tear logos off leaflets as they can be great inspiration for font styles or colour palettes. I like seeing how other people use different colours, so keeping these elements in my journal is a great source of ideas to use in future spreads.


Happy Mail


Junk Journal - Happy Mail

I absolutely love receiving happy mail and the letters are always the most precious part. Again, I use washi tape to secure the letters in my journal, ready to read back through whenever I next look inside this journal.


All of these additions help to give a really "complete" feel to my journaling. I find that our days are made of so many little moments that can be hard to appreciate fully at the time, due to all the "busy-ness" of every day life. Knowing that I can read back through my thoughts and look at letters I receive is a wonderful feeling.


Thinking Creatively


Junk Journal - Thinking Creatively

Unlike regular journals, the different types of paper in a junk journal really encourage you to think creatively in terms of how you will use them. I love writing around map images, adding additional journaling spots and creating pockets, to ensure that I have lots of places to write.


Every page is completely different and it can bring a whole new life to the way you journal. This journal has papers with different textures, including vellum, so I have to think about the types of pens and decoration that I will use. It's a great way to switch off from my day, as my mind is instantly absored in the fun of creating a journal page.


Brush Lettering


Junk Journal - Brush Lettering

I really enjoy adding brush lettering in my junk journal, whether this is just for the date, or lettering out a full quote. It's a great place to try out new lettering and font styles, before using them in my other journals.


My junk journal is a special place for me; somewhere to let out all my frustrations, celebrations, hopes and dreams. Taking a few moments to reflect every day has brought me so many benefits and a real sense of calm each evening.


I would love to know if you keep a junk journal, or are thinking of trying one. Let me know in the comments down below :)


I recently released a flip through of this junk journal on YouTube, which you can find here.


I really hope you enjoyed this blog post and seeing inside my junk journal. Happy journaling, Helen x